Proskauer - ERISA Practice Center

US Supreme Court to Consider ERISA’s Tracing Requirements

On March 30, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would review Bd. of Trustees of Nat. Elevator Indus. Health Ben. Plan v. Montanile, 593 F. App’x 903 (11th Cir. 2014)…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Health

Plan Administrator’s “Second Plan Interpretation” Violates Anti-Cutback Rule

The Third Circuit held that a plan administrator’s plan interpretation requiring an actuarial reduction of certain employees’ pension benefits conflicted with the plan’s terms. As such, its decision to reduce participants’…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking

U.S. District Court Rules that Float Income Earned by Fidelity Is Not a Plan Asset

Four class actions were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts challenging whether float income earned on monies pending a transaction was a “plan asset.” In re Fidelity ERISA Float Income, No…more
| Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking

Ninth Circuit Rules Beneficiary Designation Forms Are Not Documents and Instruments Governing the Plan

In Becker v. Mays-Williams, 13-35069-cv, 2015 WL 348872 (9th Cir. Jan 28, 2015), the Ninth Circuit – in a matter of first impression – concluded that beneficiary designation forms were not “documents and instruments governing”…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking

2015 PBGC Premium Filings Must Include Risk Transfer Disclosures

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (the “PBGC”) recently finalized its premium filing requirements for 2015. In addition to higher premium rates and other more minor changes, plan sponsors are now required to report…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking

Ninth Circuit Rules That Harmless Procedural Violation Does Not Alter Standard of Review

The Ninth Circuit held that a plan administrator’s failure to render a decision on a long-term disability benefits claim within the period mandated by the plan and ERISA did not alter the standard of review that the court should…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Insurance

Fiduciary Breach Claim Based On Oral Representation Can Proceed

A federal district court in New Jersey held that oral misrepresentations may support a breach of fiduciary duty claim under ERISA. Plaintiff Richard Lees was hired by American Re–Insurance Company, although he was paid by…more
| Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Business Torts

Fifth Circuit: Hospital Enjoys Standing to Seek ERISA Benefits

The Fifth Circuit ruled that an out-of-network medical provider that was assigned a patient’s rights to health insurance benefits has standing to sue a health plan that underpays its portion of the benefits due even if the plan…more
| Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Labor & Employment Law, Health

New HHS Regulations “Clarify” that Health Plans Covering Families Must Have “Embedded” Individual Cost-Sharing Limits

On February 27, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its final HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2016. The lengthy regulation covers a wide range of topics affecting group health plans,…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Health

Breaching Fiduciary Cannot Seek Equitable Indemnity from Another Fiduciary

A California federal district court dismissed a plan fiduciary’s equitable indemnity claim because such claims are not available to a breaching fiduciary under ERISA. Plaintiff William Brown commenced a putative class action for…more
| Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Business Torts

Delinquent Contributing Employer May Be Fiduciary

The Second Circuit held that the owner of a contributing employer to multiemployer benefit plans breached his fiduciary duties by failing to make required contributions and was thus personally liable for the delinquencies,…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Business Torts

Ninth Circuit: Spousal Consent Not Required Under Top-Hat Plans

The Ninth Circuit held that a participant’s brother, rather than his spouse, was the proper beneficiary of benefits under a profit sharing plan. In so holding, the Court found that: (a) the participant’s first wife, who was…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Family Law

White House Budget Recommends Elimination of in-Plan Roth Rollovers of After-Tax Contributions

As reported, the Internal Revenue Code currently permits a plan design that allows plan participants to convert non-Roth after-tax contributions to Roth contributions through in-plan Roth rollovers. This design would allow a…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Taxation

Same-Sex Spouse Has No Standing to Assert COBRA Notice Claim

A New Jersey federal district court held (in an unpublished opinion) that a former plan participant’s same-sex spouse who never enrolled in the benefit plan did not have standing to assert a claim alleging that his spouse’s…more
| Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Health

IRS Clarifies Prior Guidance on Premium Reimbursement Arrangements; Provides Limited Relief

Continuing its focus on so-called “premium reimbursement” or “employer payment plans”, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released IRS Notice 2015-17 on February 18, 2015. In this Notice, which was previewed and approved by both…more
| Insurance, Labor & Employment Law, Taxation
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